Glue up problems...Any ideas?

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Blog entry by Jimthecarver posted 01-15-2010 06:35 PM 2209 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Along the time of my attempts to create cutting boards I discovered Tite Bond III glue.
The longer work time and tan color after dried made it seem a better choice than the yellow elmers glue. That is a cutting board made almost two years ago, and this one being the most recent
My question is “How long do we wait for glue to completely dry before finishing?”
The second board glue up was allowed to dry for at least two weeks before finishing and now after finish is dry and left to cure for approx. two weeks. What I am finding is the glue is squeezing out between the joints even two weeks after it is suppose to be dry and cured. I am completely baffeled with this problem and am wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them?
The cutting boards are sanded to a 220 finish then several coats of wipe on General Finishes Salad Bowl finish. They are smooth as a babys bottom when done but then about two weeks later every glue joint is raised.
I keep scratching my head looking for answers and am getting no where so…..LJ’s Please help me out!
Thank you,

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

25 comments so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3133 days

#1 posted 01-15-2010 06:58 PM

It might sound like a silly question, but are any of the pieces stained before glue ups?

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3899 days

#2 posted 01-15-2010 07:22 PM

Squeezing out? I’ve never heard of that or had that problem. Is it squeezing out wet? Weird. That shouldn’t happen. Titebond III is dry enough to unclamp after 30 minutes and cured over night. Something is seriously wrong here. I don’t get it. I’ve used Titebond for everything for years.

-- Happy woodworking!

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3196 days

#3 posted 01-15-2010 07:56 PM

I had the same problem as Jim with some I made back in November

I glued up the boards and waited about 4 hours before unclamping (titebond III also)(no stained pieces here—walnut, cherry and maple)

finished with 4 coats of the same finish the only difference was I cut with mineral spirits by 50%

all was good until about 3 weeks later I noticed the same thing Jim has—the glue lines were raised

I didn’t worry too much about it as I figured they would get washed and used and the lines would be taken care of through that process

after reading this post I see there may be a bit of a problem in my build process too

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View depictureboy's profile


420 posts in 3667 days

#4 posted 01-15-2010 08:25 PM

pictures would be a big help….

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3513 days

#5 posted 01-15-2010 08:25 PM

The only time I had this happen was after I washed out my glue bottle and I was in a hurry, and some water got in with the glue. I don’t know why, but my next glue up the glue kept squeezing out as you describe. Could any water/stain or other pollutant gotten into the project? Just a thought.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 3196 days

#6 posted 01-15-2010 08:35 PM

depictureboy—the glue line in my case is so small that pictures wouldn’t be worth much as you wouldn’t be able to see them

Padre—in my case it was a brand new bottle having never been opened—no water near the lumber or glue

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3810 days

#7 posted 01-15-2010 08:35 PM

I usually never stain my projects, I was thinking that the wood was so very dry that it absorbed the clear finish as I would expect and expanded the wood therefore driving the glue out of the joint.
It is really only noticed by touch, but I want them to stay smooth to the touch.
The glue is new and bottle is full. I keep it from freezing.
I am going to refinish the latest board and wait another two weeks and see if it returns.
Jeff- I am sorry to hear it happens to you too, but now I dont feel alone in this problem. Hopefully we can figure it out.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3467 days

#8 posted 01-15-2010 08:50 PM

I have had the same thing happen, but I never have thought of it as glue squeeze out. But I am not sure what it is. It is not something that would show up in a photo; in my experience is just a roughness that one feels along the glue joints when running a palm across the board. I use mineral oil as a finish and I have wondered if that is the source of the mystery. Guess not, since you see it with Salad Bowl Finish. It is weird. Anyhow, I go ahead and sand the board very lightly and after a couple of sandings the roughness goes away and does not come back in my experience. So I have quit trying to figure it out and just move on.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#9 posted 01-15-2010 08:58 PM

I had the same problems with cutting boards that I have made. I used TB3 also. I thought it was just me. After I noticed it, I lightly sanded with 400 and re-oiled, it did not return. So it was easy to take care of, but it did happen.

I may have rushed the initial coat of oil, so I attributed it to that.

Come to think of it, I believe it only happened on endgrain boards, but I see that Jim’s is long grain. (?)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4219 days

#10 posted 01-15-2010 09:04 PM

Is it actually glue coming out? I can’t believe, after all that time that the glue hasn’t totally cured. If it’s just a small bulge, could it be that the wood swelled at the joint from the moisture in the glue? Although one would think that would not take that long to occur.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3810 days

#11 posted 01-15-2010 09:25 PM

I am going to make a test board and use the same method. I will take close up pics and use a steel straight edge on edge to show no light coming under the straight edge. To show how flat it is then wait the two weeks and take more pics to show the raised area of the glue.
I dont have a problem with resanding but to resand and finish seems a waste of time and materials.
I thank all of you for your input on this small but aggravating problem.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View newTim's profile


608 posts in 3631 days

#12 posted 01-15-2010 09:59 PM

I’ve used TBIII on 30+ boards and have never had a problem. BUT, that doesn’t mean you would not have a problem. Could it be a defective bottle of glue? Maybe some ingrediant was left out or added during the bottling process? Have you tested glue from the same bottle on scrap?

-- tim hill

View Joe Kimmell's profile

Joe Kimmell

32 posts in 3179 days

#13 posted 01-15-2010 10:58 PM

Like newTim…..I make alot of boards: 39 just for the holidays business this past year. TBIII is all I use on anything, never a problem yet. I wonder a few things here: 1) Maybe the oil you’re using isn’t compatible (which is hard to imagine w/TBIII)....2.) Maybe you’re oiling too soon….give it 24 hours….3.) Make sure the wood and the glue are both at room temp while gluing.
My m.o. is to run glue-ups thru the planer, so I’m doing it a bit differently than you…..Tim Hill may be right….a defective batch of glue. But that seems unlikely. Heck, I buy the stuff in 2-gallon packs, with never a problem yet! Good luck!
Oh! BTW, plain old mineral oil off the laxative shelf at your grocery or drug store works just fine, and is really inexpensive. Also, this is a job that demands really good clamps & technique! If ya clamp it dang hard to begin with, there won’t be any glue left to ooze out! If you can, invest in some Bessey K-Bodys, and just some good old pipe clamps.

-- Beer and Bandsaws just don't mix. Take my word for it!

View Joe Kimmell's profile

Joe Kimmell

32 posts in 3179 days

#14 posted 01-15-2010 11:11 PM

And one more thing for everyone else: IMHO, never, ever use any commercial stain on a surface intended for food contact!
If you’re making something, such as a countertop that won’t be in direct food contact, I just started using Minwax Polycrylic, and I really like it. ~ Joe

-- Beer and Bandsaws just don't mix. Take my word for it!

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3729 days

#15 posted 01-16-2010 12:12 AM

Just a thought, but possibly the oil is slowly soaking into the glue causing it to swell. I know that even UHMW will swell slightly when exposed to water for long periods. Don’t know all the cemistry behind it but it could be a possibility.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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